The Leftovers: “Certified” Review

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Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

“Tell me what to do.”

Wow.

“Certified” was a stunning, fantastically moving episode laced with the expert off-kilter humor that this series embraced in its second season and has all-but mastered here in its final run. This was a “Laurie” episode — in all likelihood her last one if we assume the final moments were her ultimate goodbye (cruel world) — but it was smartly interlaced with both Kevin and Nora’s separate death quests so that this season, which only has eight episodes, could keep the story moving.

It was just a phenomenal usage of time for storytelling, magnificently crafted to take us through the lives of each remaining character (it even threw in a voice cameo from Jill and Tommy – and hey, the kids are alright!) using Laurie as its touchstone. Usually, she’s been the outsider, but here she wrangled her way back into everyone’s lives, affecting each of them in unique ways. For Laurie and Kevin, it was a loving farewell (and a time for truths). For Laurie and Nora, it was almost a Claire/Bender Breakfast Club-style prodding – with Nora behaving more prickly and contentious than usual, especially having lost Kevin and now dealing with his ex-wife (whose cult tormented her).

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